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Denver leaders to discuss potential terror attack scenarios

DENVER -- While it’s difficult to prevent a vehicle from driving through a crowd of people, Denver leaders indicate downtown security enhancements are a possibility.

More than a dozen people were killed and 100 were injured after a van plowed through a crowd on Thursday on a popular tourist street in Barcelona, Spain.

The mayhem came just days after a similar terror attack in Charlottesville, Virginia. Law enforcement around the world are grappling over what can be done to prevent these kinds of attacks.

“There’s a lot of people coming up and down this street and anything can happen,” a 16th Street Mall pedestrian said.

After the 1995 terror attack in Oklahoma City, visually appealing concrete barriers were installed strategically around federal buildings across the United States.

Denver’s Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security said it will be holding a previously scheduled meeting in September to discuss vulnerabilities in busy pedestrian areas and how to respond to a vehicle terror attack.

An emergency management representative said part of the training event could include discussions about the benefits of sidewalk barriers similar to those outside the Colorado Convention Center.

But regardless of increased safety measures, experts agree there’s no way to fully protect pedestrians everywhere.

“If somebody wants to [attack, barriers are] not going to stop them,” another mall pedestrian said.

Being self-aware and willing to tell officers about suspicious activities are two of the best practices to follow, according to the Denver Police Department.

The Denver Emergency Management meeting will focus on training of city representatives and private organizations.

Potential terror attack scenarios will be discussed. The meeting is set for 9 a.m. Sept. 19 at the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building.